January 2019, Volume 25, Number 1
2019 - Adverse Effect of Wage Rates
The US Department of Labor published Adverse Effect Wage Rates for 2019, which are based on USDA's Farm Labor Survey. Employer-reported average hourly earnings rose six percent between 2017 and 2018, from $12.47 to $13.25, twice the three percent increase for private-sector production workers. Average hourly earnings in California rose from $13.18 to $13.92, up six percent, the same percentage as in Washington and Oregon, where earnings rose from $14.12 to $15.03, the highest in the US. The 23 percent jump in the mountain states of Colorado, Nevada, and Utah, from $10.69 to $13.13 an hour, prompted employer efforts to freeze the AEWR for 2019. Average hourly earnings dropped slightly in Florida and in the Cornbelt states of Iowa and Missouri.